Winter Squash Recipes ♥ Alphabet of Vegetables
That's "Pumpkin" for the Brit, Aussie & Kiwi Visitors

Tired of the same-old roasted squash? Find new inspiration in this collection of seasonal Winter Squash Recipes, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special. Many Weight Watchers, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, whole30 recipes. #AVeggieVenture
Hello Vegetable Lovers: Over the next while, watch for some housekeeping with the Alphabet of Vegetables here on A Veggie Venture. The goal is to separate out our "most favorite" vegetables so their pages will load more quickly, handy for all but especially those of us who check for recipes on our phones. ~Alanna

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IN A RUSH? Prefer Another Vegetable?
Skip Straight to the Recipes or Switch to the A-Z of Vegetables.

WINTER SQUASH: THE BASICS
Pronounced [skwawsh]. In Britain, Australia and New Zealand, winter squash are called "pumpkin". (Some sources say that "pumpkin" is also used in Britain but a British reader corrected that notion, says that "pumpkin" applies only to the round jack'o'lantern-style pumpkins.) Common varieties include acorn squash, butternut squash, delicata squash and spaghetti squash. At a good farmers market, you might find colorful hubbard squash, buttercup squash and red kuri squash. Look especially for kabocha squash, it's great for making Homemade "Pumpkin" Purée; commercial pumpkin purée is made with calabaza squash.

Pumpkin Smoothies ♥

Pumpkin Smoothies, just five minutes and five pantry ingredients. Vegan, gluten-free. For Weight Watchers, #PP4. #AVeggieVenture
graphic button small size size 10 Pumpkin Smoothies, just five minutes and five pantry ingredients. Love your smoothies? Yeah, of course! This one tastes much like a cold 'n' creamy pumpkin pie. Gluten Free and paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". graphic button small size size 10

We interrupt this pumpkin programming – but wait, wait! One more, just one more pumpkin recipe! This is an easy one, one that'll carry you right through Thanksgiving. It's really pumpkin-y, in fact, it tastes much like a pumpkin pie, as if the filling didn't set and has been chilled. It's slightly sweet but really filling.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts & Donut Holes ♥
aka How to Make Small Boys & Handsome Men Happy

Baked Pumpkin Donuts and Donut Holes, just like cake donuts, warm with spices, coated with buttery sugar. A really special fall treat. #WeightWatchers #PP3 #AVeggieVenture
graphic button small size size 10 A special treat for fall, baked donuts and/or donut holes, warm with pumpkin spices, coated with buttery sugar. Bite-size goodness! graphic button small size size 10

Twas quite the morning, this past Sunday. Males outnumbered females 7:1, five-year old twin boys, eight- and nine-year old BFFs, two dads who've discovered paleo plus one grandpa vs me. It started with a protein fest: platters of eggs and bacon and breakfast sausage cooked crisp. But then I appeared with "breakfast dessert" – pumpkin donuts and donut holes, still warm from the oven and coated with buttery sugar with warm autumn spices. Flash! Donuts here, donuts gone. Donut holes here, donut holes gone. Even the "picky eater" twin who had earlier harumphed out of the room stating that he didn't "yike" pumpkin donuts – even he took a bite, then exclaimed with sugary lips, "I yike pumpkin donuts!" Score one for me, the pumpkin lover.

So put these donuts on the menu, maybe for breakfast, maybe for a snack, maybe for a party or better yet just-cuz. They're easy to make, all from simple pantry ingredients.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Orange ♥ Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Orange, a Midwestern classic, chocolate-y and orange-y. Stays moist for days. #WW6 #AVeggieVenture
Today's "vegetable" (yes, those are quotes) recipe: One of those Midwestern classics, a zucchini chocolate, very chocolate-y and very orange-y thanks to both orange liqueur and fresh orange zest and juice. Virtuous only on the goodness scale.

Parlor Tricks. That's what 99.99 percent of all dessert recipes with vegetables are. So now you think I'm gonna tell you that this Chocolate Zucchini Cake beats the odds, right? Nope. This is pure cake. The fact that there's zucchini in there matters not one whit in fact I suspect you could leave it out and not a soul would notice. I shake my head when I see you-know-the-type cookbooks talk about "sneaking" vegetables into kids foods. Like C.A.K.E.

Still. This cake is so chocolate-y. And so orange-y. And extra-moist, even on Day Three. A keeper? You bet. But with full understanding, the zucchini is a parlor trick.

Green Smoothies ♥
Fourteen Tips + Four Recipes to Get You Started

How to make Green Smoothies, Fourteen Tips plus Four Sample Recipes to create your own delicious, healthy smoothies.
graphic button small size size 10 How to make green smoothies, Fourteen Tips + Four Sample Recipes to create your own delicious, healthy smoothies. Weight Watchers take note, the calories and points really add up quickly. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~

Confession Time: While I wanted to "try" green smoothies, I really didn't expect to like them. But I do! At first, I experimented with "how much green" tastes good – me, I like "more than less" green but "not a lot". Then for the last few years, my morning routine regularly includes a green smoothie – most often, with milk to fulfill the Weight Watchers milk/calcium/protein requirement. I call it "breakfast in a glass". Green Smoothies are fast, easy and (can be) very pretty! I've collected some favorite Green Smoothie recipes here, just to inspire. And tips? You bet, lots of tips! Because in the end, for a Green Smoothie to work, it's got to suit you. Here's what works for me, let me know what works for you!

GREEN SMOOTHIE TIPS

(Four Recipes That Work Below)
START WITH FRUIT The trick is to start with fruit, then add green to taste. The first smoothie, I started with a single leaf of Swiss chard - and the taste was all fruit. For the second, I used two leaves of chard, brightened with lemon juice – and this tasted decidedly bright and green and VERY alive. I loved it. The third, I used three leaves of chard, that was a bit much to my taste. You'll quickly learn how much green suits you at first. Over time, you can increase it.
WHOLE FRUIT If you can, keep to 'whole' fruit (versus juice) so that you get the full benefit of fiber:calories. If need be, thin with water or milk.
FRUIT ALTERNATIVES No doubt, fruit is the source of the calories in smoothies. To switch things up, substitute cucumber for fruit (for low calories) or avocado (for richness). It's not "green" but I also love-love-love a Tomato Smoothie.
CHOOSING GREENS Especially for your first Green Smoothies, stick to tender greens like leaf lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard. Beet greens can also be tender but tend to muddy the smoothie color. Kale can be good but at least to my taste, is too earthy and green tasting. If you're in the grocery store, touch the leaves, if they're tender to the touch, they'll make great Green Smoothies.

Armenian Vegetable Stew ♥ Recipe

Armenian Vegetable Stew with late-summer and early-fall vegetables, eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, okra.
Today's vegetable recipe: A simple vegetable stew, a mélange of late-summer and early-fall vegetables like eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, okra. Very Weight Watchers Friendly, just WW 1 PointsPlus for a whole cup. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

Every couple of weeks during late summer and fall, you'll find a big pot of vegetable stew a-simmerin' on my stove. (In winter? It's usually soup, not the thicker stew.) Then during the next week, it's my "go to" convenience food, just a minute or two in the microwave for a small, healthy and plant-based meal (in 100-calorie servings, the best thing I learned when I switched from Weight Watchers to Medifast) or a supper side dish, no cooking required.

Here's the latest! It's a mild stew – those of you who hanker for heat will want to grab the hot sauce! (Or for built-in heat, try the wonderful Chickpea Gumbo or Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle.) I find the mildness quite soothing and peaceful, appreciated like a quiet, no-pressure day after several days of tension and activity. It's also really great, especially in summer with fresh vegetables, to really taste the individual vegetables.

I'm not sure what makes this "Armenian" – perhaps the slight sour from lemon juice at the end? perhaps an apple in the pot along with the vegetables? If anyone has experience with Armenian cuisine or knows the answer, I'd love to hear from you!